You’re wondering if you can mix different refrigerants for your air conditioning system. The short-long-only answer is no, never. There are many reasons why it’s impractical, illegal, and not economical for a homeowner to mix refrigerant types.
CFC-typerefrigerants like R-22– the most popular in the United States by far – are a single type of refrigerant. CFC stands for chlorofluorocarbons. These refrigerants contain chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. HCFC, a “replacement” refrigerant used in place of R-22, is also made up of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon, but contains a hydrogen atom. Any HCFC is going to be a mixture of several types of HCFC refrigerants. The chemical makeup of replacement refrigerants is designed to mimic the operating pressures and temperatures of R-22. These replacement refrigerants work okay when they’re operating in an isolated system with no contaminants or other types of refrigerant, but should never be used to “top off” a system that’s low.
PHASING OUT R-22 REFRIGERANTS
Because R-22 depletes the ozone layer, production and import of the refrigerant was further limited in 2010. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2020, R-22 will no longer be produced or imported. After 2020, only recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies of R-22 will be available. Due to the EPA phasing out R-22, it’s important that you stay informed on how you should service, repair, or replace your air conditioning unit that uses the refrigerant.
Note that when the refrigerant in your AC system is running low, you may not be able to replenish it because supplies of R-22 will become more limited and the price may increase due to a limited supply. When working with a contractor, it’s important to make sure they’re checking for leaks and repairing them instead of “topping off” your system as a quick remedy. Also, be sure to check what refrigerant they’re using to replenish your system’s supply because mixing is never a good idea.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO MY SYSTEM IF I MIX REFRIGERANTS?
Operating pressures and temperatures will definitely change for the worse. The different types of refrigerants are not meant to be mixed. The refrigerant charge must be optimized by using the refrigerant’s respective pressure-temperature chart. But when mixing an alternative refrigerant with R-22, there’s no pressure-temperature chart you can refer to. This means that you can’t optimize the system charge, which can lead to overheating and reduced system efficiency and lifetime.
A loss of efficiency will occur. There may be an unpredictable and extreme change in efficiency as most R-22 refrigerants do not operate as efficiently as R-22 even when it’s not mixed. An inefficient AC unit can result in higher energy costs because your system will work harder than normal to cool your home.
There may be damage to your unit. This happens due to the unpredictability of the pressures and temperatures as well as a potential loss of proper oil return to the compressor, which may result in your system’s failure.
Below are other effects of mixing refrigerants:
Ineffective compressor cooling
Possible compressor damage
Metering device malfunction
Inadequate oil return to the compressor
Negative impact on the environment
IS IT ILLEGAL TO MIX REFRIGERANTS?
The EPA isn’t likely to come banging on your door for mixing refrigerants, but even if they don’t, the environment is already under enough pressure with the use of refrigerants in their purest form. Our environment doesn’t need an unscrupulous contractor or technician mixing refrigerants. If refrigerants aren’t mixed together, they can be reclaimed and reused.
If they’re mixed together, the only option for the contractor is to turn the contaminated refrigerant over to a parts house at an additional cost. The parts house sends it to a company that incinerates the refrigerant, so it can never be reused.
WHY WOULD A CONTRACTOR MIX REFRIGERANTS?
The answer is cost. A 30 lb jug or R-22 can cost 3-4 times that of a replacement refrigerant. The contractor or technician that doesn’t care about you, your equipment, or the environment will “top-off” a system and get away before the homeowner ever notices the losses in system capacity or the damage being done to their equipment.
Other technicians really are misinformed and believe that replacement refrigerants can actually improve a system’s performance. But they fail to realize that they shouldn’t add replacement refrigerants to a system without first fully recovering, evacuating, and then replacing the refrigerant entirely. This is especially common during peak cooling months when the weather is warm. A contractor may take a shortcut and choose not to evacuate the system properly, leak check, fix, and then recharge the equipment.
ARE REPLACEMENT REFRIGERANTS ALL BAD?
No, they aren’t. They just shouldn’t be mixed with any other refrigerant. Before you or your contractor decides to use a replacement refrigerant, we urge you to read this article, which will tell you the replacement refrigerants we recommend and why. But always remember, the system has to be free of all other contaminants and refrigerants before using a replacement for R-22 or any other refrigerant.
As you know, mixing refrigerants is not good for anyone. The customer’s system will suffer from lost efficiency and decreased longevity for the equipment. The company can also suffer consequences because they’re doing something illegal. Once the customer finds out what happened, they’re unlikely to consider that contractor for future projects. Lastly, the environment is being harmed because something that could have been recycled now has to be destroyed.
It’s much easier, more cost-effective, and just the right thing to do to avoid mixing different refrigerant types. The earth will thank you, your equipment will thank you, and so will your power bills.
At Legacy Air, we serve homeowners in the Las Vegas and Henderson areas. Anything from replacement and repair to general AC service and maintenance, we can deliver. Please give us a call at(702) 935-1955if you have any questions concerning this article or if you ever need service.
Can you mix different refrigerants? ›
The short-long-only answer is no, never. There are many reasons why it's impractical, illegal, and not economical for a homeowner to mix refrigerant types. CFC-type refrigerants like R-22 – the most popular in the United States by far – are a single type of refrigerant. CFC stands for chlorofluorocarbons.What happens if you mix different refrigerants? ›
Mixed refrigerants can cause increased system pressures and temperatures changing them for the worse. This can result in ineffective compressor cooling and possible compressor damage, ineffective cooling, and metering device malfunction. Different types of refrigerants are not meant to be mixed.Can you mix different brands of AC refrigerant? ›
In short: no, it's not a good idea to mix different automotive air conditioning refrigerants. Your vehicle's HVAC system is designed for a specific kind of refrigerant, so adding another kind may cause the system to become damaged.Can you mix R22 and 410a refrigerant? ›
No, you cannot. To make a short story long, R410A and R22 are refrigerants. They are both good refrigerants and they both work, but they have to be charged in the system at different pressures. R410A is a higher pressure system and R22 is a lower pressure system.Is it OK to mix refrigerants in the same container? ›
Recover the refrigerant into a container used only for that type of refrigerant. Do not mix refrigerants. Store recovered refrigerant by refrigerant type (e.g., R-22, R-134a, R-1234yf, etc.) in separate refrigerant recovery cylinders (identifiable by a yellow band around the top collar of the recovery cylinder).Why is it important not to mix different refrigerants? ›
Mixing refrigerants can have an adverse effect on air conditioning and refrigeration systems, resulting in reduced efficiency, performance, and longevity. And it can create a safety hazard for the technician who may not know exactly what type of refrigerant a system may contain.Can you mix r134 and R134a? ›
You cannot mix refrigerant types, and putting the wrong refrigerant in your car will cause damage to the air conditioning system! If you're not sure which kind of refrigerant your vehicle takes, DIY A/C charging may not be for you.Can I mix minus 30 with R134a? ›
You can use your normal equipment; Minus 30 is suitable for all systems. It doesn't matter whether it is an old R12 system, or a new R134a system, Minus 30 is compatible with all oils, O rings, seals and gaskets.What happens if you mix R 134a and R 1234yf? ›
The mixing of R-134a with R-1234yf will change refrigerant pressure and may result in evaporator freeze-up on pressure control systems, reducing system airflow.What happens if you mix a little 410A with R22? ›
You cannot just switch refrigerants because R410-A and R-22 have different chemical properties. R410-A operates at a higher pressure. If you put R410-A into an R-22 system, the parts will rupture due to the increased force.
What happens if you put R22 in a 410A unit? ›
If you use R-22 in the same system as R-410a, the compressor is going to be trying to work two different fluids through the same coils as both refrigerants respond differently to different mechanical situations. As you might imagine, this isn't going to go well for your air conditioner or heat pump.Can I use R134a instead of R410A? ›
An environmentally more benign refrigerant for replacing refrigerant R410A includes a majority portion of refrigerant R32 and a minority portion of refrigerant R134a, the volumetric capacity of the replacement refrigerant permitting it to be used as a near or exact drop-in replacement for refrigerant R410A in terms of ...Can you mix another refrigerant with R22? ›
Many Bay Area homeowners wonder whether they can mix different types of refrigerants in their air conditioning system with the R22 phase out almost complete. The direct answer is that different refrigerants should not be mixed.Can you mix and match AC units? ›
Different brand equipment can almost always work fine. However, because manufacturers design their components to work optimally together, the potential exists for some loss in efficiency when mixing and matching. Keep in mind, you are also combining systems that are different ages as well.What happens if you mix 407C with 410A? ›
These mixtures will have to be disposed of by incineration. Also, mixtures of HCFC-22 and Freon™ 407C or Freon™ 410A refrigerants will have performance properties different than either refrigerant alone. Therefore, we do not recommend mixing HCFC-22 and Freon™ refrigerants in any system.What refrigerant can you mix with R410A? ›
R22+410a mixture in r22 units
It's fine to add a little bit R410A into R22 units, but the system pressure needs to be adjusted for R22 working pressure because the R22 compressor cannot stand high pressure, let's say suction pressure 60 psi, head pressure 200 psi.
In short, the answer is, "No!" Automotive refrigerants are volatile compounds that can have a negative effect on the environment. Combining them can have adverse effects, and cause damage to your car's A/C system.Can I mix r407 with R22? ›
R407C can be used to COMPLETELY replace R-22 refrigerant in new or existing R-22 residential and commercial air conditioning systems as well as non-flooded evaporator chillers. Cannot be added to R-22 unless fully evacuated and recharged with 407C.Can too much refrigerant damage a compressor? ›
Having too much refrigerant in your AC can damage the compressor. This can happen because the excess refrigerant will likely collect inside the compressor and cause subcooling, wherein temperatures are below normal. Furthermore, the extra refrigerant can flood the compressor and damage its mechanical parts.Can you mix R22 and 427? ›
Can I mix Forane® 427A and R-22? Mixing refrigerants is not recommended as it creates a new refrigerant that is not EPA approved. In addition, it contaminates the R-22. Proper calculation of superheat and subcooling becomes extremely difficult, which could result in damaging the compressor.
Can you mix R404A and R134a? ›
Thread: Accidentally mixed R404A with R134a
It will never work and your TEV or capillary is not designed for this refrigerant. If you want to destroy your compressor, let it run this way.
Using a propane-based refrigerant in an air conditioner that is not designed to use propane or flammable refrigerants poses a threat to homeowners as well as service technicians, because systems that are recharged with an unapproved alternative called “22a” can catch fire or explode, resulting in injury and property ...Can you mix 404a and R22? ›
Short answer: NO. Long answer: This is a very bad idea for multiple reasons: R22 & R404A have different pressure temperature characteristics.What refrigerant is compatible with R134a? ›
There are three refrigerants that can be used to replace R-134a: R-1234yf, R-152a, and R-744.Can you put 1234yf in a 134a system? ›
While you might be thinking you're doing the environment a solid, do not do it. It is illegal to convert an R12 or 134a system to 1234yf.Can I mix R12 and R134a refrigerants? ›
Ultimately, no. If you're trying to “top off” an R12 system with R134a refrigerant, you can face some hefty fines with the Federal US government and EPA.How long will 134a be phased out? ›
In 2012, automobile manufacturers began the transition to new, climate-friendly alternative refrigerants. As a result of a July 2015 rulemaking, by model year 2021, the MVAC systems in newly manufactured light-duty vehicles in the United States will no longer use HFC-134a.How many cans of 134a does a car take? ›
Most cars hold between 28 and 32 ounces of refrigerant (or about 2—3 12oz cans), however larger vehicles and those with rear A/C will likely hold more.Why did R-1234yf replace R-134a? ›
R134a and R1234yf are similar, however, R1234yf was created as a more environmentally friendly replacement to R134a. The biggest difference between the two is that R1234yf is mildly flammable and does require special handling. Diagnosis of the air-conditioning system can be done in the same way as with R134a.Is R-134a colder than R1234yf? ›
, the cooling capacity of an R1234yf refrigeration system was approximately 7.7–10.6% lower than that of an R134a system.
Why did they switch to R-1234yf? ›
The auto industry has transitioned some U.S. models to R-1234yf, although it's not required by current U.S. law. The reason the auto industry is transitioning its U.S. models is to achieve commonality with European models, and to gain Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) “credits” from the EPA.Can you mix new 22 with R22? ›
Mixing refrigerants is not recommended. R-22 replacements should not be used to top off R-22 systems. R-22 should be recovered using appropriate equipment and managed according to U.S. EPA guidelines specified in Section 608 of the U.S. Clean Air Act.What can I top off R22 with? ›
MO99 is compatible with mineral oil and POE oil providing a quick, cost-effective R-22 replacement, and can be topped off during service without removing the entire refrigerant charge.When was R22 banned? ›
On January 1, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented a ban on the production and import of R22, except for continuing servicing needs of existing equipment. The EPA also banned the manufacture and installation of new R22 AC or heat pump systems.What is the drop-in replacement for 410A? ›
RS-53 (R470A) is a new non-flammable Drop-in replacement for R410A with a low Global Warming Potential (GWP) less than half that of R410A. RS-53 (R470A) has a similar thermodynamic performance to R410A with matching energy efficiency and cooling capacity.What is the new refrigerant replacing 410A? ›
The leading replacement for R-410A refrigerant is a pure, single component refrigerant called R-32, which has one-third the global warming potential of R‑410A.Is 410A being phased out? ›
The act empowered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set HFC management and reduction guidelines. Following a directive by the EPA, new HVAC systems will no longer use R410a refrigerants as of January 1, 2023.Why R134a is not used in air conditioning? ›
R134a reacts with water to form hydrofluoric acid which damages the internal A/C components.Can a consumer buy R410A refrigerant? ›
Do you need a license to buy R-410A refrigerant? You do not need an EPA license to purchase R-410A. However, you do need a license to use it to charge a system. While we encourage responsible DIYers, there are some things you should definitely leave to a trained HVAC professional.Which refrigerant gas is best for AC? ›
Although there are various types of refrigerants, R-32 is a new refrigerant currently receiving the most interest. Because R-32 efficiently conveys heat, it can reduce electricity consumption up to approximately 10% compared to that of air conditioners using refrigerant R-22.
What happens if you mix R22 and r421a? ›
the simple answer is no. If a technician were to “top-off” an R-22 system with R-421A, they would essentially be creating a refrigerant mix that is not authorized by the EPA. It is a Federal violation to knowingly mix refrigerants. R-421A will not operate correctly if mixed with other refrigerants.Can I put R134A in a R22 system? ›
No they work with completely different pressures. R134A was the replacement for R12 that was used in cars, R22 is a refrigerant that was mostly used in home AC. No, the oil used to lubricate the compressor isn't compatible and will cause the compressor to lockup.Can you mismatch HVAC system? ›
Your HVAC system's efficiency and lifespan will suffer.
Every component — including the coils, wiring and blowers — needs to be suitable for each other for the equipment to run smoothly. Mismatched parts will only result in headaches down the road, compromise your comfort and cause the system to fail shortly.
However, the ton capacity of an AC plays a crucial role in deciding how long an air conditioner will take in cooling a room. A 1 ton AC generally takes around 1 hour to cool a room, whereas an AC with a 1.5 ton capacity can take anywhere around 35-45 minutes to cool the same room.
Keep in mind when pairing a condenser and air handler, it's okay for the air handler to be a bigger size than the condenser, but never the other way around. It is also always good to check equipment compatibility with the manufacturer and AHRI as well. In fact, we recommend you do that.Is it OK to mix refrigerants? ›
The short-long-only answer is no, never. There are many reasons why it's impractical, illegal, and not economical for a homeowner to mix refrigerant types. CFC-type refrigerants like R-22 – the most popular in the United States by far – are a single type of refrigerant. CFC stands for chlorofluorocarbons.Can I use R410A and R22 refrigerant together? ›
No, you cannot. To make a short story long, R410A and R22 are refrigerants. They are both good refrigerants and they both work, but they have to be charged in the system at different pressures. R410A is a higher pressure system and R22 is a lower pressure system.Is R404A compatible with R410A? ›
Bortolini et al. (2015) concluded that the most suitable refrigerant to replace R404A in medium evaporating temperature conditions is R410A and in freezing cooling loads, R407F (Figure 7).What happens if you mix R32 with R410A? ›
R32 has a higher compressor discharge temperature than R410A, and will increase wear on the compressor, reducing its life significantly. Should any problem arise from a system change such as this, any liability would rest ENTIRELY with the person who carried out the change.Are 134A and 410a compatible? ›
The United States explicitly prohibit the use of R410A and R134a refrigerant.
Is Freon 134A the same as R134a? ›
In the 1990s, R134a Freon (also known as HFC-134A) emerged as the alternative to R-12. The majority of vehicles on the road today use R134a to fuel their air conditioning systems.Does brand of refrigerant matter? ›
Yes it must be actual refrigerant. There are specific refrigerants for various types of systems. The required quality is the refrigerant should match the cooling system as specified by the manufacturer.Can you mix r134 and r134a? ›
You cannot mix refrigerant types, and putting the wrong refrigerant in your car will cause damage to the air conditioning system! If you're not sure which kind of refrigerant your vehicle takes, DIY A/C charging may not be for you.What happens if you put 407C with 410A? ›
A 410a compressor running 407C will lose about 35% capacity.What kills an AC compressor? ›
Loss of refrigerant: This is the #1 way a compressor might die years before its time. The amount of refrigerant in an air conditioner is specially set to work with the compressor. If the AC loses refrigerant through leaks, the imbalance will eventually cause the compressor to overheat.What are the signs of an overcharged unit? ›
- Uneven Pressure Levels. You might have trouble telling if you have varying pressure levels on your own. ...
- Frost Layers. ...
- No Air Flow. ...
- Unusual Noises. ...
- Weak Cooling. ...
- Increased Bills. ...
- Shutting Down Completely.
Experts say that excess refrigerant in an overcharged residential or commercial AC unit will collect inside the compressor and cause subcooling, resulting in extremely cold temperatures that can reach sub-zero levels, Air conditioners aren't designed to handle sub-zero temperatures.
If you mix R407C with R22 inside your system the molecule of the HFC (R407C) gas will not link with the oil and in just few months of operation you will have a "sludge" like lubricant formation inside the circuit.What happens if you put 410a in a R22 unit? ›
You cannot just switch refrigerants because R410-A and R-22 have different chemical properties. R410-A operates at a higher pressure. If you put R410-A into an R-22 system, the parts will rupture due to the increased force.Can you mix different brands of refrigerant? ›
In short, the answer is, "No!" Automotive refrigerants are volatile compounds that can have a negative effect on the environment. Combining them can have adverse effects, and cause damage to your car's A/C system.
What refrigerant can be mixed with R410a? ›
You can mix R-22 and R-410a refrigerant in the same system.What happens if you put too much R134a? ›
Having too much refrigerant in your AC can damage the compressor. This can happen because the excess refrigerant will likely collect inside the compressor and cause subcooling, wherein temperatures are below normal. Furthermore, the extra refrigerant can flood the compressor and damage its mechanical parts.Can you mix other freon with R-22? ›
Many Bay Area homeowners wonder whether they can mix different types of refrigerants in their air conditioning system with the R22 phase out almost complete. The direct answer is that different refrigerants should not be mixed.What refrigerant can be mixed with 404a? ›
Like R407A, R407F is fully compatible with the POE lubricants used in an R404A system and, in many cases, the original oil can be used. R407F has a lower mass flow than R404A, so some recommend checking existing piping to ensure compatibility.Can you mix R22 and Rs 44? ›
A: The standard recommendation is not to mix refrigerants. RS-44 does not form an azeotropic mixture with R22 so that adding RS-44 to R22 in a system will not generate any higher pressures. In strictly technical terms, work has shown that RS-44 may be added to R22 without any adverse effects.Can I mix R134a with r1234yf? ›
The mixing of R-134a with R-1234yf will change refrigerant pressure and may result in evaporator freeze-up on pressure control systems, reducing system airflow.What happens if you mix a little 410A with R-22? ›
You cannot just switch refrigerants because R410-A and R-22 have different chemical properties. R410-A operates at a higher pressure. If you put R410-A into an R-22 system, the parts will rupture due to the increased force.What happens if you put R-22 in a 410A unit? ›
If you use R-22 in the same system as R-410a, the compressor is going to be trying to work two different fluids through the same coils as both refrigerants respond differently to different mechanical situations. As you might imagine, this isn't going to go well for your air conditioner or heat pump.What happens if you mix R-22 and R134a? ›
There will be no adverse chemical reactions in mixing R22 and R134A.Can you mix different brands of R-134a? ›
In short, the answer is, "No!" Automotive refrigerants are volatile compounds that can have a negative effect on the environment. Combining them can have adverse effects, and cause damage to your car's A/C system.
What is the difference between R-134a and R-1234YF? ›
R134a and R1234yf are similar, however, R1234yf was created as a more environmentally friendly replacement to R134a. The biggest difference between the two is that R1234yf is mildly flammable and does require special handling. Diagnosis of the air-conditioning system can be done in the same way as with R134a.Which pressures are better R-134a or R1234yf? ›
The pressure drop of R1234yf is approximately 40% higher than the pressure drop of R134a. The results of R410A vary more than R1234yf.What is the best drop-in replacement for R22? ›
The best replacement for R-22 Freon is usually R-407c. It has a very low loss in capacity (0 – 5%) relative to R-22 and is less expensive than many other R-22 replacement refrigerants.Can you put R 32 in a r410 unit? ›
No. R32 is not suitable as a drop-in replacement for R410A and must only be used in systems specifically designed for R32.Can you mix anything with R22? ›
We actually recommend that you not mix refrigerants. At all. Ever. It's usually bad.Can you add 407C to R22? ›
R-407C should be used only in systems that currently use R-22. It should not be mixed with R-22 or any other refrigerant. 5. The capacity of the existing R-22 thermal expansion valve (TEV) will be approximately the same when using R-407C.